Beyond the Camerata. Music, Theatre and Academies at Palazzo Rinaldi: From Domenico Belli to Marco Da Gagliano (1616-1623)
Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici, Firenze
The paper will examine three theatrical performances sponsored by the Rinaldi family between 1616 and 1623, investigating them from various points of view, ranging from the practical aspects, to their cultural and social functions, such as the self-promotion of both the patrons and the artists involved. These entertainments include Orfeo dolente (five musical intermedi by the composer Domenico Belli for Tasso’s Aminta, 1616); a pastoral play with musical intermedi on the theme of Andromeda by Jacopo Cicognini and Belli (1618); and finally, the tournament Le fonti di Ardenna (1623), with a text by Andrea Salvadori and music by Marco Da Gagliano performed by the chivalric Accademia dei Rugginosi. It will be demonstrated that these theatrical performances were not held in the Palazzo della Gherardesca in Borgo Pinti, as has always been thought by scholars, and how the discovery of their actual location prompts a new interpretation of these productions themselves. Particular attention will be paid to the composer Domenico Belli, whose idiosyncratic, avant-garde style often leads musicologists to place him on the margins, standing apart frommainstream Florentine developments stemming from the so-called Camerata (a group of intellectuals and musicians no longer active in this period). However, he fits very well within the context of more recent musical developments by his younger contemporaries in Florence. As for Le fonti di Ardenna, this sheds light both on the particular interests of the Rugginosi and on the originality and creativity of Florentine patricians in patronizing new theatrical genres to suit the political and social agendas of the Medici.